Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 34143

Mechanics 3/4/2021

RE: Pro Adult

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


Do you think that video assistant referee was correct to intervene for the handball offense which happened between minutes 6:07-7:15 of the video?
Here is the video link:

I ask because the team, whose goal was cancelled, had lost possession after the handball offense and regained possession after a certain period of time passed and ball travelled a certain distance. If I am not wrong, the team had requested the match to be replayed since they thought VAR should not have intervened. However, their requested had been denied.

In my opinion, VAR was correct to intervene. Although the team who scored the goal lost and regained possession of ball, the team's players near the ball kept moving forward. As far as I know, attacking phase of play ends when a team's players near the ball stops moving forward. Am I right?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
There is no definitive answer in respect of attacking phase in VAR and it not solely based with regain of possession or direction of play.
In this instance there was a deliberate handling which was missed by the referee and assistant. The ball went to an opponent who promptly lost it and then an attacking phase began with a goal scored.
VAR was in my opinion 100% correct to intervene in this situation which was unseen by the referee. It was subsequently shown that the attacker had indeed handled the ball which should have been called.
To me it is an undisputable fact that there was a missed deliberate handling by the Yellow attacker which led to the situation where the White opponents lost the ball. There was no real phase of play by Whites that VAR could say that White had begun another phase of play or that sufficient time had passed where it did not make sense to go back to the offence.
Had say Whites passed it back to the goalkeeper and it went to the far side of the field or a punt then VAR would not go back to that type of situation. But that is not what happened.
So in my opinion the referee was correct to award the DFK for handling. VAR was also correct to allow play to continue and to then ask for a review which clearly showed deliberate handling which negated the goal.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs,
in my opinion, there is no basis for a replay. In elite matches, VAR is there to ensure BLATANT law infractions do not go unnoticed and ONLY intervene IF necessary! What was surprising to me is why the AR on that side missed it? The blatant deliberate handling led to complete ball possession and control by the team that cheated and leads to an attack where a goal results. If that attack had failed and the defenders had regained ball possession, say a save by the keeper, then VAR would NOT have interrupted the match to point out the unfair result!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 34143
Read other Q & A regarding Mechanics

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.